Virginia came, saw, and--gave a thoroughly creditable account of itself Saturday, displaying an assortment of short, over-the-line forward passes that for the better part of the game baffled the University's second-string secondary defense and served to liven up for the gathering of supporters what was otherwise a comparatively unthrilling performance. Fourteen of the University's 24 points were registered in the second half, when the Virginians' strength was waning, and fresh Crimson substitutes gave the home team a decided advantage. Considering the cold weather, to which residents of Charlottesville are hardly acclimated, the Southerners' play was surprisingly free from fumbles. Fully as many bobbles and fumbles marked the University's play.
Virginia's line-play was scarcely on a par with that of the Crimson second-string forwards, especially around the centre, where Tierney, though unsteady at passing, was excellent on the offense. The Orange and Blue wings put up a mighty good game, notably Newman, who shared pass after pass for short gains right under the eyes and from the midst of the University backfield. He and Captain Michle, on the other extremity of the line, were down the field, fast under Rinehart's low punts, but had little open-field tackling to do, since the punts were usually driven out of bounds.
Rinehart a Vicious Runner
Of the Virginia backs, Rinehart, a rangy, powerful specimen, was their best bet during the first half. He ran viciously with a high knee action that bowled over several tacklers before he was crushed. He rarely twisted or spun to evade the secondary defense. The effects of this bruising method of running evidently told on him as he became less effective as the game wore on. A compact little back of the type of Maulbetch of Michigan came to the fore in the later moments of the game. Zundell by name, he whisked through openings, usually in the right side of the University line, and swirled and stumbled up to and often practically through the second line of defense. At least three times he all but made first down in one of these headlong dashes.
No doubt the University got the breaks, chief of which were the two occasions that Humphrey's punts struck on the 15-yard line approximately and were allowed to roll crazily over the hard turf till they wobbled outside of the three-yard line; in the first of these cases, it was the indirect cause of a Crimson touch-down later.
Virginians Come Up Smiling
The attitude of the Virginians in these unfortunate circumstances, and later, after Brown had broken through, blocked Clark's punt and torn over the line for a touchdown, left nothing to be desired. In every case they came back with undiminished vigor; especially was the kicking of Clark and Rinchart excellent from behind their own goal-line, the latter's effort in the crisis, though low, as were all of his punts, dirting with the edge of the field, tantalizingly out of Buell's reach, and eventually going outside neat the middle of the field.
Virginia, like Centre last week, made little or no attempt to take the offensive on Humphrey's beautifully timed high spirals under which both ends and Lockwood, in almost every case, were ready to down the receiver in his tracks. It was the luck element that penalized. their faulty handling of punts by having them roll outside inside the five-yard zone.
The University line, on the left side, played a strapping, slashing game. Lockwood, the broken bone in his foot sufficiently mended to allow him to play practically the entire game, was the fastest man in the line, not excepting the ends. Always down under kicks among the very first and so much solid rock on the defense, his work was especially encouraging in view of Hubbard's injury. He showed his speed in catching Michie when the latter was loose for a touchdown in the third quarter.
Besides him Brown put up a game at guard that can only be characterized as a "whale." More than once he downed runners before they had moved, much less reached the line of scrimmage; and his steady work was rewarded when he blocked a kick off Clark's too and neatly scooped up the ball for a score. People will remember this, but many may neglect to realize his excellent work the whole game long. Finley, who played at left and during the second half, made the stellar catch of a toss from Buell--for all the world like the Felton-Casey heave against Yale last year, both in execution, and in the selfsame part of the field. Thrice Finley nipped end rung in the bud for losses of five or six yards a throw.
Of the other side of the line, not so much can be said. It was here, through Olmsted and kunhardt; the latter playing his first game at tackle, that Virginia made its chief gains; Newman proved a difficult end to box.
In the backfield, the most notable feature was the debut of Fitts; his two punts did not, it is true, live up to the ripple of expectation that swept the Stadium as he stepped back to kick; but wind and sun were against him. His running was high-grade. Past Michle before it seemed possible--he made three long dashes around left end--the last, sided by pretty interference by Fitzger-aid, all but netting a touchdown. It was not all speed; he mixed in some very pretty twisting out of some tackles, even if he did not attempt to reverse his field at all. Buell kicked a good field goal at a difficult angle from the 27-yard line--certainly encouraging the more so when one considers that he went in practically "cold" to put it over. Hamilton played his usual hard-running game; Humphrey's running disappointed, the back seeming to stop before he was tackled, the Crimson interference, to be sure, left a good bit to be desired.
Crimson Aerial Work of First Order
The forward pass play of the Crimson was first-class. Only once, when Wales threw a pass at random straight into Witts' arms toward the close of the game, did there seem to be the slightest lack of precision. A neat pass to Fitzgerald was directly responsible for the first score; and two clever plays, Buell to Finley, and Rouillard to Hamilton, secured the last touchdown.
Captain Callahan and a prominent Yale line coach who viewed the game from a seat high up in the Stadium no doubt appreciated these plays more than most of the student body. Apparently the superlative showing of the regular team against Centre has spoiled the student support, whose general comment on the game was not at all complimentary to the team. When one considered that a good forward pass attack was not allowed to get within striking distance of the goal line, that three or four men at least were given a first real opportunity to show their mettle and came through splendidly, and that the substitute team scored chiefly through precise, accurate forward passing, in weather that was anything but conducive to precise, accurate handling of the ball, one may rightly conclude that the weather had too cooling an effect on the spectators' view point, and that they'll be singing another song next Saturday--and it won't be a dirge.